IES OF P O C E M FIV LATINU P N O M POKÉ
GAME INFO POKÉMON PLATINUM Format: Nintendo DS Release Date: 22/05/09
he Pokémon phenomenon is set to accelerate to new heights on May 22nd, with the release of Pokémon Platinum, exclusively on the Nintendo DS. The game has already been a sensation in Japan, where 2.4 million copies have been sold so far, including one million within the first three days of launch. Pokémon Platinum is a sweeping new adventure set in the Sinnoh region of the Pokémon world, packed with new features and revolutionary ways to play, including a whole new online world accessible in-game at the Wi-Fi Plaza. Other breakthroughs certain to delight long-term franchise fans and newcomers alike include the Vs Recorder, which allows you to capture your greatest victories for posterity, and Distortion World, which is governed by neither time nor space and presents a radical new gameplay challenge. The epic story of Pokémon Platinum revolves around the legendary renegade Pokémon, Giratina, appearing in its new Forme, the Origin Forme. Plenty of other legendary Pokémon also feature, including Dialga and Palkia and the powerful Lake trio of Uxie, Azelf and Mesprit. Dedicated collectors will be especially excited to learn that one of the rarest and most popular Pokémon, Shaymin, appears in a new Forme in this new adventure. Shaymin was previously only available in Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl through special events. When transferred from these versions, he appears in a new Sky Forme, with a new appearance, new attributes and special powers.
In fact, all the Pokémon appear in new garb, wrapped up warm to survive the freezing cold of wintry Sinnoh. The main meat of Pokémon Platinum is a quest to stop the sinister Team Galactic – a task that includes tacking a series of side missions and contests, plus, of course, some serious battles. As you’d expect, it’s the battles that really pack a punch. The all-new Battle Frontier is a custom-built home for challenges and tournaments that becomes accessible after defeating the ‘Elite Four’ and the Pokémon League Champion and taking a ferry to the Fight Area. The Battle Frontier contains five different Battle facilities, with each awarding Battle Points that can be traded for fantastic prizes. Furthermore, the Global Trade Station from Diamond and Pearl has been expanded and renamed the Global Terminal. This is where players can check out each other’s battles, with videos listed by popularity to make it easy to find great content. Online play, competition and sharing content are all at the heart of Pokémon Platinum, which itself represents a huge step forward and shift in tone for this classic series. In the basement of every Pokémon centre is a Wi-Fi Plaza where up to 20 players can connect and play together in real time. They can trade and battle with friends (as long as they’ve exchanged Friend Codes) and there are mini-games to play together at the Wi-Fi club.
Senior product manager James Honeywell and product manager Roger Langford outline the reasons why Pokémon Platinum will be one of the biggest releases of the year… Can you give us an update on the success of the Pokémon franchise to date? James Honeywell: Pokémon continues to be one of our ‘evergreen’ franchises. Over ten years since the first title appeared in Europe, Pokémon games have regularly sold in large numbers. In the last quarter alone, five different Pokémon games appeared in the overall top 100 DS titles chart. Globally, we have now sold over 180 million units of Pokémon software and we plan to continue releasing more exciting products for some time to come. Roger Langford: In the UK the Pokémon franchise has been a staple for all Nintendo handheld consoles since Pokémon Red and Blue were launched in Europe in 1999. Our most successful release, Pokémon Yellow, launched at the height of the Pokémon craze in 2000, sold just over 900,000 copies.
Honeywell (top) and Langford are co-ordinating a UK campaign that takes in two major bursts of TV activity plus a major tour this summer.
When was the last major Pokémon release on DS? RL: There have been many successful Pokémon releases on DS since its launch in 2005. Last year saw the release of Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time and Darkness, as well as the sequel to Pokémon Ranger, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia. Both titles sold well throughout 2008. Before these three titles, the Nintendo DS was home to the most successful Pokémon launch for many years in the form of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl in 2007. JH: As Pokémon Platinum is the companion title to Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl we hope it will be a popular title. We have a huge, loyal fan base for these titles who will be eager to experience the new elements of Pokémon Platinum like the new ‘Distortion World’ that will offer an experience unlike anything seen on Pokémon before. Plus, with the ever-increasing installed base of Nintendo DS we have lots of potential new owners and they will be our focus for this launch. What are the major gameplay advances in Platinum? RL: Platinum offers Pokémon fans all new adventures, locations and new Pokémon Forms. As James mentioned, for the first time players will be able to explore the Distortion World and encounter Girantina in its new ‘Origin Forme’. Plus, players who enjoy battling will also be treated to an improved Battle Frontier containing four new battle facilities each with their own special rules. Add to this a whole host
of new online features in the Wi-Fi Plaza and you have a must-have title for Pokémon fans young and old. What are the online elements and how important are they to the full enjoyment of the game? RL: The introduction of the Wi-Fi Plaza in Pokémon Platinum allows up to 20 players to connect wirelessly or via the internet through the exchange of friend codes. Once connected they can play various mini-games, take part in a parade and even see a fireworks show. The addition of being able to play against other Pokémon fans in these new games adds to the already huge social aspect of Pokémon. The Global Terminal is again present, offering players the chance to trade Pokémon with others from around the world. A new feature of the new Global Terminal allows players to record and post ‘videos’ of their best battles online. Pokémon Platinum brings the online aspect of the game to the fore and makes taking your Nintendo DS online essential to get the most out of Pokémon Platinum. What sort of reaction did the title get when it was released in Japan? RL: When Platinum was released in Japan last September, one million copies were sold in the first three days of launch. To date 2.4 million copies of Platinum have been sold and this number is continually rising. These numbers show the huge appetite for Pokémon and we hope to replicate some of this success on these shores with this latest release. How high are expectation levels in the UK? RL: Pokémon Platinum is certainly high on the priority this year for DS. We aim to make this a must have title for all Pokémon fans, as well as open up the brand to new users who may never have played Pokémon before. JH: Overall this will be one of our biggest releases this year, with full year-long promotional activity planned. We hope that with the launch of the greatest Pokémon game so far that we can open this series of games to a much wider audience and ensure its success for the next ten years. Will Platinum be the bestselling Pokémon game so far in the UK? RL: We have seen in the past with Pokémon titles that the companion title has always performed well.
We hope to improve on this with Platinum by engaging a wider audience who have chosen Nintendo DS as their preferred choice for the last couple of years. What sort of marketing effort are you putting behind the release? RL: Pokémon Platinum is a key title for Nintendo DS in 2009 and will have a huge marketing campaign to support it. JH: For example we have already had a two-week preorder campaign on TV that started to raise awareness of the upcoming title over six weeks before launch and has driven a lot of orders. This unprecedented sort of activity will ensure a successful launch. RL: We will then continue the TV activity at launch with an even bigger two-week campaign aimed at housewives and kids covering all major terrestrial and multi channel stations. We will also be running an extensive online campaign for two months across this whole period targeting major gamer and kid’s websites. Moving into the summer we are planning a major Pokémon tour but we will confirm details on this later. JH: That’s right, our planned activity for Pokémon Platinum isn’t just limited to the launch period, we have activity coming throughout the summer holidays and on into the peak season which will give this title one of our biggest ever campaigns. Does the Pokémon audience keep expanding, or is it a finite universe, do you think? RL: The huge success of Nintendo DS and now Nintendo DSi with a combined install base over nine million will open the Pokémon franchise up to a new audience that may never have experienced Pokémon games in the past. We aim to make Pokémon accessible to this audience and hopefully gain new fans in the process.
MARKETING TV • ONLINE • POS
Pokémon Platinum is gearing up to be biggest Pokémon release on DS to date. The marketing around Pokémon Platinum will serve to both whet the appetite of Pokémon fans and gamers, as well as open up the franchise to those not yet familiar with Pokémon... N GAMER 89% “Pokémon isn’t kids’ stuff. When you look past the cards, the cartoons, and the Pikachu lunchboxes there's a core game that's one of the most complex and customisable around. It's perhaps the most accomplished battle system in any RPG, thanks to the combination of that infinite loop of move and counter-move and its personable menagerie of mice, dragons, bats, penguins and (cough) fridges. The online functionality is the finest there's ever been in a Pokémon game. If you've never played a Pokémon game before, Platinum is the series' high point. In the simplest terms: as a game, Pokémon Platinum is huge. As an obsession, it’s endless.”
TOXIC 4/5 “I love the variety of new features since Diamond & Pearl, particularly the increased interactive capacities.”
G TV Platinum will have a heavyweight two-week TV campaign from launch running through until the end of May, targeting both adults and kids. As part of the focus on kids there will also be sponsorship with Jetix. However, this was not the start of the TV activity. Throughout March there was a pre-order campaign to hype up the launch of Platinum, which also targeted both adults and kids through the Easter break.
G Online From the beginning of the pre-order TV activity right through to the summer, there will be an online presence for Pokémon Platinum across gamer and kids websites. G Point of Sale In-store, Platinum will have a range of assets from wobblers and countertop standees to FSDUs and cubes. The main POS image features the mysterious Giratina.
PO F K IVE ÉM C O OP N I PL ES AT O IN F U M
COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION To celebrate the release of Pokémon Platinum exclusively on Nintendo DS on May 22nd, Nintendo is offering you the chance to win five copies. To be in with a shout, just answer the following question...
Which TV duo were early champions of the Pokémon craze on their Saturday morning TV show? A) Ant and Dec B) Slug and Lettuce C) Bootsie and Snudge Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
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